Before the season, we thought there might be a good chance that JuCo transfer Tyler Marona could break through and earn some playing time as a defensive lineman for the Syracuse Orange. When he started sitting out practices in August due to The Dreaded Upper Body Injury, we didn't think too much of it (the downside of injury report vagary). But since the upper body includes the head, perhaps we should have. No thanks to a concussion suffered during early practice, the latest in a career full of them, Marona's Syracuse career is over before it even began.
Citing a history of concussion issues, Marona has been medically disqualified by football team physician Dr. James Tucker. Marona could have chosen to transfer from Syracuse and pursued a football career elsewhere but said he plans to remain at SU, where his scholarship will be honored and he'll help the football program in a variety of roles.
"That's not who I am," Marona said. "I remember everything. There are things that I know are part of myself that I wasn't able to do anymore. That's what scared me into speaking up and saying, 'Something is really wrong here.' "
...Marona's mother recalled Shafer telling him, "When you're talking to your son someday, I want you to be able to understand what he's saying."
In theory, Marona could still give it a go elsewhere. Former SU FB Adam Harris once saw his career end due to concussions only to restart it a year later when he tried to make it in the NFL. But all signs seem to point to Marona moving on to the next phase of his life and kudos to SU for honoring his scholarship so that he can do so with a degree.
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